AIGA Cincinnati hosts first Green Salon to position region as center of green business

Thanks to Cincinnati's confluence of consumer package giants such as P&G, Kroger and Macy's, the region is seizing the opportunity to establish itself as a leader of green business practices.

The Cincinnati chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA) is helping to solidify that claim with its first ever Green Salon designed to further the conversation around trends and influences in sustainable packaging at the Art Academy of Cincinnati on March 24, 2009.

The panel will be moderated by Marc Alt of the Center for Sustainable Design, a nationally-recognized speaker on design as it relates to sustainability and will feature some of the design community's most well-respected thought leaders including locals Tanya Blasko, Senior Design Manager at Procter & Gamble and Matthew Kennedy of Kennedy Creative & Sustain Brands.

Kennedy discovered a while ago that smarter packaging isn't just good for the environment, it's also good business period.

"We're honing in on how we can produce packaging that's more sustainable but we're also taking a look at a much larger picture."

That larger picture includes a realization that maybe not everything should be centralized. Kennedy explains, "It's about being local. With fewer miles to travel, local farmers and manufacturers make a better living and communities get better products. We know that consumers want to buy local but they don't have the time to go find them. The small guys (farmers and manufacturers) want to get to people but can't get to shelf on their own. So we bridge the gap."

Extensive research into the subject coupled with years of experience and solid intuition led Kennedy to create Sustain, an umbrella brand that gets groups of regional products on the shelf in a number of key strategic sectors around the country including the Ohio Valley.

"We make sure nothing ever travels more than 300 miles," says Kennedy.

This philosophy ensures local producers receive the benefit of consumer recognition through a growing brand that also gets their product to shelf in a mass market driven world.

"We let the farmer do the farming and let us worry about getting their products on the shelves," says Kennedy.

That innovation is the kind of new thought the Green Salon is hoping to tap into as well as introducing designers to new ways to incorporate sustainable philosophy into their professional lives.

"This idea has been a long time in the making," says AIGA Cincinnati Sustainability Director, Nikki Mayhew.

Mayhew serves as the first Sustainability Director for the organization and hopes this event is only the first of many that will draw national attention to the area as a leader in sustainable design. She sees the salon as an opportunity for designers to begin to think about these issues. "We want to inspire our designers to know it's not as hard as they may think it is. And can actually save money as well."

One of AIGA Cincinnati's goals is to keep area designers connected and in the region by providing resources and inspiration as well as events like the Green Salon.

For more information or to register, click here.

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